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Jean in Newcastle

A Celiac Thanksgiving

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 I know to watch out for the rolls and pies and gravy.  But are there hidden sources of gluten that I have to watch out for?  We plan to bring some food but I wasn't planning on bringing everything. 

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Stuffing, of course. And the green bean casserole. Although you can make your own with a DIY cream soup, and Aldi (if you have one close) has GF French fried onions. They have GF stuffing mix too. My homemade stuffing never turns out well.

 

I bought a small container of pre-made GF turkey gravy, McCormick brand. They make packets too but the store was sold out.

 

If you have dips for appetizers, check labels because I've seen a few with gluten. Imitation crab has wheat, if there's crab dip.

 

Anything that might have been thickened (homemade cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes) might be a problem. I made candied sweet potatoes last night and used cornstarch (Argo brand), but some people might use flour.

 

If the turkey was stuffed with the stuffing, that's a problem.

 

That's all I can think of right now.

 

ETA: Nuts can be cross-contaminated. Unless they are Planters or the ones I order from Nuts.com, DH passes on them.

 

ETA2: I don't know if egg noodles are a part of your T-day meal tradition, but here's a really good recipe for GF homemade ones. I'm actually getting ready to make those now: http://www.frugalfarmwife.com/article/gluten-free-egg-noodles/

Edited by BarbecueMom
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Spices and seasoning mixes can have hidden gluten, so I would find out what the host(ess) is using to season the turkey.

 

Barley malt is sometimes used as a sweetener so I would double-check anything not made from scratch.

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DS21 is headed to friends for thanksgiving dinner. Everything has to be gluten and dairy free.

 

I am helping him make deviled eggs with gluten/dairy free mayo and mustard and green beans with toasted almonds (also made carefully gluten free). I had to hunt for gluten free mustard for the eggs bc most of it is made with vinegar made from grain.

 

So you should probably watch out for anything with vinegar too - salad dressing, appetizers and even sauces can be a pitfall there.

 

DS’s menu includes all natural turkey, gravy made with gluten free flour, dairy free mashed potatoes, green beans, enchilladas and deviled eggs. One friend is bring three different safe desserts. Sounds wonderful to me!

 

ETA some vinegars are ok. Some aren’t. I’m not taking any chances since this is food for other people.

Edited by AK_Mom4
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I've only found one or two mustards that had gluten, and they were usually stone ground or Dijon gourmet varieties. Yellow mustards like Frenchs and Plochmanns are GF. I've found many GF brown mustards at regular grocery stores, too. I agree not to assume, but if you want to make your own deviled eggs the mustard will be easy.

 

I don't like to go to a pitch in Thanksgiving, because even though many recipes can easily be made GF, most people's kitchen habits while cooking on that scale are not safe.

 

Sampling their fresh batch of cookies while cutting up the celery.

Using the same stirring spoon for the gluten foods and GF foods on a crowded stovetop.

Forgetting (or not knowing) to use dedicated plastic colanders, wooden spoons, cutting boards, cast iron pans, and toasters for every GF dish.

Kneading white flour rolls, or rolling pie crusts, with flour dusting the whole kitchen and settling on the GF foods.

 

Sometimes loving relatives can focus on all these things for one dish, or for a small family dinner, but for the big holiday do's there is just wheat in the air in most homes. It takes some conversations to assure yourself that the kitchen practices are safe and not just the ingredients. I hope your family are the kind who will be willing to learn, so you can share a holiday meal!

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Honestly, the cross contamination is probably your biggest nemesis.  Unless you know the hostess extremely well, and can guarantee that they are extremely careful with utensils etc., I wouldn't eat anything I didn't cook myself.

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I have brought my own plate to Thanksgiving dinner to avoid contamination.

Another thing you can do if that isn't an option would be to make sure the GF plate was made first. I watched one year in horror as my GF pie was cut using the same knife used to cut the other pies. Ever since then, I just cut the pie myself, put a slice on a clean plate for me, cover it, and tuck it away. Then if something happens to my GF item, no sweat. :001_smile: My GF pie is awesome, and I'm happy to share it. But I get my portion first! :D

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I always assume I can eat the turkey and nothing else. We usually take along a side, a veggie, and a dessert that are safe and eat those. It makes a complete meal.

 

If I’m feeling crazy, I’ll eat mashed potatoes, salad, veggies.

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Oh, and if you bring something, put some in a Tupperware for yourself beforehand in case it gets grossly cross contaminated while you’re waiting to get food (like someone drizzling gravy all over the potatoes).

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Cross-contamination is a big concern of mine, as is someone meaning well, but not truly understanding all that gluten-free entails.  I often bring my own food and try to be as nonchalant about it as possible so as not to draw attention. I don't want my food restrictions to become the focus of the holiday meal, but I also want to stay well. Bringing my own food eliminates the need to inquire about ingredients and the need to watch serving utensils, etc. 

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